The Value of Rest

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites all who are “weary and burdened” to come to Him for rest. He was talking both to His disciples and to all those who were worn down thanks to the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ strict interpretation of religion. The Pharisees in particular would often burden ordinary people with so many specifics of the Jewish law that it was impossible to keep them all. Yet according to them, this meant those people could never attain salvation or favor with God.

Jesus’ admonition to rest reminds us that there is grace in Christianity. We do not have to keep every jot and tittle of the law perfectly for God to love us; He loves us as we are because He sees us as perfect. Jesus’ concept of rest has value in the physical realm too, however.

Today, most Christians are weary and burdened for one reason or another. Sometimes it is due to a tough situation, like a cancer diagnosis, caring for an elderly parent or special needs child, or trying to deal with the effects of a sluggish economy. Sometimes, Christians are tired because they consciously or unconsciously overburden themselves with religious activity. Jesus encourages us—in fact, commands us—to serve fellow believers. Yet He never meant for service to become our entire focus; that honor goes to Him.

If you are physically, mentally, or spiritually tired today, pray and meditate on Jesus’ command to rest. Ask Him to help you rest and show you how to bring more balance to your life.

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